The adrenal glands are responsible for regulating the body’s response to stress by controlling the hormones released during stress. Stress damages the functioning of the adrenal glands causing a decrease in the output adrenal of hormones, especially cortisol. Adrenal fatigue is any decrease in the ability of the adrenal glands to carry out their normal functions. Adrenal fatigue is the primary cause of “burn-out,” common diseases and chronic illnesses, in which fatigue is one of the primary symptoms and stress is the primary cause.
The adrenal glands respond to every kind of stress in the same manner. Examples of stress that can cause to adrenal fatigue include, poor diets, lack of exercise, use of stimulants, lack of sleep, lack of relaxation, illness, overwork, major surgery, financial pressures, negative attitudes and beliefs, fears, marital stress, smoking, death of a loved one, and job stress. Although severe fatigue is the major complaint of patients with adrenal fatigue, often multiple non-specific symptoms are associated with it.
Some symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:
- Feeling tired for no reason
- Having trouble getting up in the morning
- Feeling run down and stressed
- Craving salty or sweet snacks
- Frequent respiratory infections
- Confusion, poor concentration, and memory recall
- Gaining weight, especially around the waist
Adrenal fatigue can be suspected based on clinical exam and symptoms. However, none of the standard laboratory tests currently in use are designed to detect adrenal fatigue. Checking cortisol levels either in blood or saliva at certain times of the day may indicate a deficiency of the hormone cortisol.
Treatment begins with an attempt to relieve stressful situations as much as possible. Lifestyle changes such as diet modification and exercise can help tremendously. Limit the consumption of processed foods, alcohol and tobacco because these substances put extra stress on the adrenal glands. Take small breaks to lie down during the day, increase relaxation, eat regular meals, exercise regularly and get at least 8 hours sleep nightly.
If you believe you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue, call Southern California For Anti-Aging today for a adrenal fatigue consultation at 424.247.4962.